Topics: Sumer, Mesopotamia, Assyria Pages: 10 (1154 words) Published: December 26, 2013
Ancient Mesopotamia Architecture I




General Introduction

from the Greek Μεσοποταμία, mesos, meaning 'middle', and potamos, meaning 'river' to translate into 'between two rivers’

It is the plains of the Tigris and Euphrates which called now Iraq

Irrigated by numerous canals between the two rivers and was highly cultivated


The geography includes:
 Broad and generally
level land
 Syrian desert to the
 Mountains of western
Turkey to the north
 The Zagoras mountains
to the east

The region was repeatedly
invaded by hostile groups
from the North and East

The flow of the two rivers
was never predictable with
droughts followed by
damaging floods


Abundant rains during several weeks in winter

There is a long summer of six months with hot, humid weather that is occasionally relieved by a mild wind from the northeast Zagoras Mountains

The unhealthy exaltations from the vast swamps with many insects led to the construction of elevated platforms for the towns and palaces


The whole district is alluvial, formed of thick mud
or clay deposited by the two rivers

The soil contained no stone and carried no trees

Mud was the usual building material, being
manipulated into bricks

The general walls were constructed of ordinary
sun-dried bricks

“kiln-burnt” and sometimes glazed bricks of
different colors was used as facing

In Assyria, where stone was not scarce, the walls
were also faced, internally and externally, with
alabaster or limestone slabs, on which were
carved bas-reliefs or inscriptions

The march of civilization grew
northbound starting from the
extreme south of the region
called Sumer towards Babylon
and Assyria.

Bronze Age Mesopotamia
included Sumer and the Acadian,
Babylonian and Assyrian empires

3500-2340 BC
2300-2150 BC
2150-2000 BC
612-538 BC
538-334 BC

Main families and dynastiesHistorical timeline:
a- 5300 BC - Earliest evidence of human culture
b - 2800 - 2370 BC - Early dynastic era (Sumerian)
c- 2750 BC - First dynasty of Ur
d- 2340 - 2125 BC - Sargon I begins the Akkadian dynasty

e- 1894-1595 BC - The Babylonian
f- 1859-539 BC- The Assyrians and the Neo- Babylonian
G- 332 BC fell to Alexander the great
H- 226 AD fell to Sassanid Persian
J- 700 AD became under the Arab Islamic reign



Important events in Mesopotamian History
3,000 BC - The epic story of Gilgamesh
2340 B.C. - King Sargon establishes Semitic dynasty at Akkad (beginning of Akkadian Period)
2125-2070 B.C. - Third dynasty of Ur
1900 B.C. - Amorites at Babylon
1792-1750 B.C. - Reign of Hammurabi
1600 B.C. - Invasion by Hittites and Kassites (end of the Old Babylonian empire in Mesopotamia )

The Code of Hammurabi:
-Best documentation of early law codes
“Primitive constitution”
-Strictly divided by class
-Punishments were extremely harsh
-“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”
-The king’s authority came from the gods


If a man builds a house badly, and it falls
and kills the owner, the builder is to be
slain. If the owner's son was killed, then
the builder's son is slain.


The people were worshipers of the heavenly
bodies such as the sun and the moon and the
powers of nature such as wind and thunder

The meaning of life was for one to live in concert
with the gods.

Humans were created as co-laborers with their
gods to hold off the forces of chaos and to keep
the community running smoothly.

Every City has its own temple of the God, who was
called “king of the city” and they were ruled by the
high priest.


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